Riverbed has announced a series of updates to its SteelCentral performance management platform, including monitoring for Microsoft Azure Cloud Services and Amazon Web Services. Other updates include support for Skype for Business.
SteelCentral is divided into two main product groups: Application Performance Management (APM), and Network Performance Management (NPM). Each group is composed of a variety of modules. AppInternals is an APM module. It’s agent-based software that runs on application servers. It records all transactions to help identify whether performance problems are in the application code, the database layer, or server infrastructure.
With this latest release, AppInternals can run on Azure Cloud Services, Microsoft’s PaaS offering. A virtual instance of the software can automatically instrument new servers to collect performance metrics. Riverbed will also make a version available to run in Amazon’s AWS.
Riverbed is also introducing the Application Performance Graph (APG), which visualizes application components in cloud-based and containerized apps. Rather than tying visualization to the underlying server infrastructure, the APG maps interactions between application modules to help troubleshooting teams more easily understand application behaviors.
On the network performance side, Riverbed has updated its UCExpert module to support Microsoft Skype For Business. And because Riverbed already had support for UC platforms from Cisco and Avaya, it now has a multi-vendor dashboard to provide key performance statistics for heterogeneous environments.
Riverbed can monitor call managers and end points, and can gather QoS info by location, device and connectivity. And by integrating other NPM modules, operators can pull in flow and packet data to help troubleshoot voice issues.
Other upgrades include an interface refresh for SteelCentral NetProfiler, the end-to-end network visibilitiy module, with dashboards to show essential details such as top utilized interfaces, and interfaces with the poorest user response times.
The company says all the SteelCentral upgrades will be available by the end of June 2016.
The SteelCentral platform has a ton of moving parts: 3 modules under the Application Performance Management side, and 8 under the Network Performance Management side. On the one hand, that means the platform probably has a module or modules that organizations may find useful, and these new announcements are sensible extensions to the functionality of SteelCentral.
However, the real trick for Riverbed is to execute well on integrating all these moving parts, especially in managing and presenting the reams of data this platform can generate. The company also has to ensure that things like licensing and maintenance don’t drive customers crazy. I’d be interested to hear from customers about whether Riverbed is succeeding.